ask a cool person

What Are the Best Belts for Women?

Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Belts exist squarely at the intersection of function and style. Sure, they hold your pants up, but the right belt can bring a dose of personality to simpler items like your favorite white T-shirt and jeans. To help guide your belt search, we asked 13 stylish women which ones they use to cinch their blazers, complement their sundresses, and buckle up their bike shorts. Read on for their suggestions for belts to go with practically every outfit.

Best overall belt

Five of the women we spoke with recommend belts by French designer Isabel Marant. “She offers everything from super-classic to braided to a bit more Western and designed,” explains art director Madelynn Furlong. For an everyday option, Furlong recommends this silver-buckled model she says will go with everything.

Best affordable version of the best overall belt

For a very similar look for (much) less, style expert Alison Deyette suggests this belt from J.Crew. “It has been added to the closet of many of the clients I style. It’s a simple classic,” she says. Artist and designer Piera Bochner also likes J.Crew belts because they are “good, easy basics.” If you’re looking for something a touch more unique, you can personalize this belt with a monogram (for an extra $10).

Best grommet belt

“This wide grommet belt is a favorite because it’s like the grown-up version of the Hot Topic one you probably had in ninth grade,” fashion writer and consultant Alyssa Coscarelli says of & Other Stories’ belt. She recommends pairing it with floral prints to give them a little edge and, when cool weather returns, using it to cinch coats. “It’s a compliment getter — always,” Coscarelli promises.

Best statement belt

Three of the stylish gals we talked to suggest this sparkling option from B-Low the Belt if you really want to turn heads. “If you’re simply looking for something functional to hold your pants up, this is not that,” says Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, market editor at Who What Wear and curator of the Instagram account Trust Me Buy This. “However, it does look unbelievably cool with anything from a sweatshirt and jeans to a slip dress, so I would still recommend it.”

Best affordable statement belt

Stylist Samantha Brown loves the Farah belt above but suggests this far less expensive option for those who want to “step into trendier territory” without breaking the bank. She says the belt shines best when paired with distressed denim and a simple T-shirt.

Best belt with a statement buckle